Ahonsi Unuigbe, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Petralon Energy Limited says his company’s support for the historic Okpekpe international 10km road race is a fulfilment of his personal vow a couple of years ago.
Petralon Energy Limited is the first CSR partner for the race since it became the first road running event in Nigeria to be granted a label status by World Athletics and Ahonsi is delighted he and his company are delighted to be part of the race which has attained a gold label status for the ninth edition holding this Saturday in Okpekpe.
‘Petralon’s sponsorship of the Okpekpe race started in my head about 10 years ago when the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole partnered with Mike Itemuagbor and his company, Pamodzi to start the Okpekpe 10km road race that has made Okpekpe, Edo state and Nigeria a destination of sort for sports.
‘I was a Commissioner then in the administration of Comrade Oshiomhole and I said to myself there are admirable people like Itemuagbor who want to sacrifice their time and money for the good of their people.
‘Through the Okpekpe race he has certainly changed whatever negative narrative about Nigeria out there. I said to myself at the time that if I find myself in a position to help, I will definitely do it and thank God I am able to do it now as the official CSR partner,’ said Unuigbe.
The Petralon CEO revealed there will be a pre-Okpekpe race trial for intending runners of the Ora communities where 100 of them will be sponsored to the main Okpekpe race.
‘The race will hold in four of the Ora communities and there will be prizes for the top three athletes from the Ora communities. If others can also be impacting their communities like Itemuagbor has done and I am about to do, we can also produce many more talented athletes ,’ added Unuigbe who revealed Ajayi Agbebaku, the first Nigerian athlete to win a medal at the World Athletics championships is from his community.
Meanwhile, organisers of the race have announced that collection of running number (bibs) will start on Thursday, May 25 and end on Friday, May 26 at Uyi hotel in Auchi.
‘It starts from 9 am to 6 pm daily and registered runners are advised to collect their running number in person. All participating athletes will receive a running race vest, number bib, and chip while those who complete the 10km race right from the flag off at Apana road to the finish line in Okpekpe will receive medals and certificates,’ said Zack Amodu, the race director.